Tag Archives: fifth generation war

Blogospheric 5GW, with short comments

Curtis, on Dreaming 5GW:

Which is to say, rather than an automation of rule sets, or of One Common World View, some stable dynamic which allows for multiple world views and perhaps different applicable rule sets might be required. If one likes mice, one does not want a mice-catching cat, and being supplied with the choice of a white mice-catching cat or a black mice-catching cat — and being forced to have at least one of these — will produce conflict, whether 3GW, 4GW, or 5GW.

No need for one common world vew, only one common world. No need for only one civilization, just no civilizational apartheid.

Shloky:

Using Dan’s OODA Loop analysis – When we run out of links to analyze as representative of generations of terrorism the OODA loop becomes irrelevant. Restated: The human decision cycle becomes irrelevant.

Rather, the human decision cycle thrives under limited information.

Mark, on ZenPundit:

The vulnerability of individual actors vis-a-vis groups or the state puts a premium on secrecy for 5GW actors, as previously noted by Dan. The state in turn, is vulnerable to a proliferation of such superempowered individuals and will have to defend itself with a combination of surveillance and active cultivation of primary loyalties ( reducing the motivation for such individuals to act out in antisocial ways).

Rather than focusing on building state loyalties, the State may do well to focus on distributing itself. Federalism provides a model. An actor’s ability to control a system goes down as the complexity of the system goes up. The American System of Government is as brilliant at defending itself from 5GWs as from 4GWs.

John, over at Robb’s Weblog:

It’s clear we are in a phase transition from classic 4GW guerrilla warfare to something worse. In my view, that something worse is ultimately going to be the super-empowered individual that can use the technologies of self-replication to collapse/kill on a grand scale. That is, in a nutshell, is what 5GW is all about. It is the end game in human conflict (at least as far as we can imagine).

This shows the basic difference between John Robb and I. We both sees the end of war, as we have meant “war.” To Robb, this is a bad thing. He retreads some initial misconceptions about the evolution of warfare, as well.

Tom, over at P.M. Barnett :: Weblog:

Constant observation of the foe. Unrelenting surveillance. Every gaffe exposed and then run ad nauseum on the web. His ability to orient himself as desired in the race is disrupted.

Conrad Burns, the incumbent, is trailed everywhere on the campaign by a young operative for the Dems who videotapes him non-stop every chance he gets, waiting for the screw-up.

Once found, it’s run on YouTube.

For the 5GW, Secrecy is needed for success. The Open Society is death for Closed Cabals.

5GW and Ruleset Automation

In a recent post, Tom Barnett synthesizes Coming Anarchy RevG, ZenPundit, and myself on the subject of 5th Generation War. (It’s a timely subject, as Curtis has just launched a blog dedicated to 5GW!) Tom’s post is very kind, and he uses one of my thoughts as a basis for winning, and preventing, 5GWs:

But say we get the SysAdmin up and running, are we entering the realm of 5th Generation Warfare?

I would say yes.

The key phrase from Dan’s analysis that clicked it for me is that once you’re observed doing your thing in 5GW, the gig is up, and that follows nicely with my NASCAR scenario (BTW, Art Cebrowski and I were going to set up a research project on this concept at the Naval War College, but our dual “falls” prevented that–his from disease, mine from whatever it was that got me fired).

But the natural counter to that (much like relying on authoritarian govs in the Gap as the natural counter to 4GW–although it’s a long-time loser strategy) is the notion that you win by extreme transparency: you democratize “observe” for the world, for nations, for individuals.

Here is where the coming wave of ubiquitous sensing shoved through a SOA-enabled IT world gets really interesting (today it’s my MySpace, but tomorrow it’s AllSpace!).

Development-in-a-Box really gets you into 5GW because it alters the observed reality–pre-emptively–in a sort of bribe-the-proles mode that steals the thunder of the 4GW warrior of today in the same way that social welfare nets and trade unions stifled the rise of socialism in Europe.

So, in effect, DiB helps move the Core from the Horatio Alger phase of lecturing the Gap (just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try all over again!) to the seriously seductive phase of active recruitment.

..

And that’s why it seems only natural to me that we marry that Chinese model to something better like DiB, turning it from simple raw-material market-capture to serious jump-starting toward emerging market status (remember those hedge funds getting interested in Africa).

So a SysAdmin-DiB approach that strategically allies us with China and hits them where they ain’t (yet strong) would see Core “bribe” Africa pre-emptively with connectivity-leading-to-development (and yes, ultimately pluralism in politics), and perhaps focus with some equal effort on SEAsia and Latin America.

Development-in-a-Box (Steve’s strategy plus Tom’s vision) is how we work the Gap-to-Core journey.

That, to me, is what’s so revolutionary about the SysAdmin-DoEE-AtoZ-DiB toolkit: it says to the world that America’s getting into the business of marketing its own catch-up strategy WRT globalization, instead of leaving that model’s enunciation to either the radical left or right of the Gap (as we did with Marxism, Leninism, fascism, Stalinism, Maoism, Pol Pot-ism, and so on and so on).

Development-in-a-Box is part of the work of Enterra Solutions, Barnett’s (and Steve DeAngelis‘s employer) — a firm that focuses on ruleset automation and other business process services. I general I agree, but as one movie demonstrates, ruleset automation — and thus Development-in-a-Box — has its limitations…

Prosecutor: We’re in luck, then. The Marine Corps Guide for Sentry Duty, NAVY BASE Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I assume we’ll find the term code red and its definition in this book, am I correct?

Witness: No sir.

Prosecutor: No? Corporal Howard, I’m a marine. Is their no book, no manual or pamphlet, no set of orders or regulations that let me know that, as a marine, one of my duties is to perform code reds?

Witness: No sir. No books, sir.

Prosecutor: No further questions.

Defense Attorney: Corporal, would you turn to the page in this book that says where the enlisted men’s mess hall is?

Witness: Lt. Kaffee, that’s not in the book, sir.

Defense Attorney: I don’t understand, how did you know where the enlisted men’s mess hall was if it’s not in this book?

Witness: I guess I just followed the crowd at chow time, sir.

Defense Attorney: No more questions.

The Long War will not be won by just explicit rulests or implicit rulesets, just horizontal controls or vertical controls. And one is not more important than the other. Both Automated Rulesets (like what Enterra sells) and Internal Rulesets (what people quietly believe) are important. Relying on automated rulesets to the exclusion of intuition destroys “fingertip-feeling” and forces us to make “rational” but sub-optimal decisions. Yet relying on intuition alone would prevent scientific investigations into dangerous types of people and how best to handle them.

What is needed for the Gap is not automated rulesets nor implicit rulesets, but functional ones. Throughout the Arab World, Sharia [Islamic Law] may be a better alternative than what now exists because of its market-orientation. In China, letting the current corrupt growth continue while internal elites import WTO rulesets is probably the best course. In North Korea we should Kill Kim, of course, while at home federalism and states right are the essence of Americanism.

As the founder of the greatest capitalist revolution in human history once remarked, “No matter if it is a white cat or a black cat; as long as it can catch mice, it is a good cat..”

One Girl SecretWar

One Girl Revolution,” by Superchick, Karaoke Superstars, 8 January 2002, http://www.getlyrics.com/lyrics.php/Superchic%28k%29/SHOW+LYRICS/One+Girl+Revolution (remix available on Regeneration).

 

Lyrics for a 5th Generation War..

 

 

I wear a disguise
I’m just your average Jane
The super doesn’t stand for model
But that doesn’t mean I’m plain
If all you see is how I look
You miss the superchick within
And I christen you Titanic
Underestimate and swim
I’ve got the rifle
Gonna be myself

 

I’ll be everything that I want to be
I am confidence in insecurity
I am a voice yet waiting to be heard
I’ll shoot the shot, bang
That you hear ’round the world
I’m a one girl revolution

 

Some people see the revolution
But most only see the girl
I can loose my hard earned freedom
If my fear defines my world
I declare my independence from the critics and their stones
I can find my revolution
I can learn to stand alone

 

I’ll be everything that I want to be
I am confidence in insecurity
I am a voice yet waiting to be heard
I’ll shoot the shot, bang
That you hear ’round the world
I’m a one girl revolution

 

The Yakuza Boss’s Assassin Was… Only a Girl?!?

Mark tipped me off to an article on Phatic Communion by Curtis Gale Weeks on 5GW. It is an excellent contribution to the blogosphere’s conversation on SecretWar. It’s all the better because it continues the “frame” of a SecretWarrior assassin trying to kill a Yakuza boss on a dance floor (see Walk Without Rhythm and Plain Jain), but it is better thought out.

 

Happily, coincidence made Curtis’ article all the better. Yesterday I purchased Beauty from Pain by Superchick, and yesterday I blogged on the 4GW nature of the lyrics to the first track, “Anthem.” However, two sections of the song stood out

 

 

“We are lipstick and cleats”

 

 

and

 

 

“We are concrete and grace We are not what you think”

 

 

I noted that these hint at “Christian 5GW,” but I did not go into any more detail.

 

Before I went for a walk this morning I loaded my collection of Superchick tracks onto my music player. It was in this context that I heard the lyrics to One Girl Revolution. What makes it all the better is that the analogies Superchick uses are almost identical to those of Curtis.

 

In that context, I will respond to Curtis’ fantastic article. I will try to keep his original ordering of concepts, but I have rearranged them when it would make my task easier.

 

 

Dan gave an example of a “Plain Jane” who does not draw attention to herself as she attempts to kill the “Yakuza Boss” on a dance floor — and my first question was whether a Plain Jane would be allowed into the party or the club, although I didn’t ask it at the time. Instead, I wondered whether randomness, when expected, would serve to obfuscate whatever patterns might actually be present: the target who expects randomness is less likely to see hidden patterns, especially when occurrences do have a “seeming randomness” to them.

 

The expected randomness, because it is expected, would create the regularity Dan said might lull the target.

 

On the other hand, the Plain Jane (were she even allowed into the party) most likely wouldn’t approach the yakuza boss directly, in a straight line aimed at him. Her movements would be random: she would take an offered drink, she would walk to the man who bought it for her to chat him up, she would dance to a song, she would go to the bathroom to powder her nose (heh, not Pulp Fiction, but Kill Bill vol. I), etc. A straight line to the yakuza boss would be an easily definable rhythm, one foot after the next on the path to her prey.

 

 

 

So Dan’s Plain Jane has this limit. In the yakuza boss’s world, plain would likely be only too obvious. A Plain Jane probably wouldn’t be allowed into the type of club the yakuza boss frequented; if she was, she’d likely stand out from the other women. The best person to assassinate the yakuza boss undetected would be an associate or someone with whom the yakuza boss is on very close terms. The assassin might even be a Brutus, the yakuza boss’s best friend.

 

 

Superchick used the same analogy when in the opening to “One Girl Revolution” she describes a Christian SecretWarrior

 

“I wear a disguise
I’m just your average Jane
The super doesn’t stand for model
But that doesn’t mean I’m plain

 

A bit farther on, the artist clarifies her meaning

 

Some people see the revolution
But most only see the girl

 

The SecretWarrior must walk with a rhythm that is neither obnoxious nor attractive. As Curtis observed, in a Yakuza club a “plain Jane” would be obnoxious. The SecretWarrior must blind her enemy to her presence, preventing him from obtaining any information from her appearance. The SecretWarrior tries to arrange the mind of her enemy, making his observations flow naturally and automatically into harmless orientations (“only a girl”), by-passing the Decision element, and going straight into action (“ignore”) — all part of the Observe-Orient-Decide-Act decision loop.

 

A photograph from the official Superchick website gives exactly the appearance that would be beneficial to a female SecretWarrior in a club

 

 

medium_superchick_crop_md.jpg
She’s Pretty So She Can’t Be a Warrior

Not quite a model. Not plain. Only a girl.

 

Note how the English language gives away that this is the accurate description for secrecy-in-plain-sight. A beautiful girl is a model, a bland woman is a plain Jane, but a girl who is trying to be attractive just like every other woman is… only a girl. The language itself will blind the victim to his enemy.

 

 

When the yakuza boss is dead, he’s dead. Anything that happens after Plain Jane’s action will not change the fact that he’s dead. His closest associates will likely know that he’s been assassinated, unless his death is made to look natural in all respects. In fact, Plain Jane might not care if his associates know he’s been assassinated, because the world after his death will no longer be what it was before his death, and that would have been her objective after all.

 

 

SecretWar is a natural evolution of effects-based operations. Effects-based operations, or EBO, looks beyond individual targets to see the effect of removing key super-valued targets. Effects-Based Operatives see the world as a system of systems, a network of networks, and try to subvert or subdue their enemy through well-targeted attacks on those systems and networks.

 

Curtis’ focus on the effect of the assassination (“Anything that happens after Plain Jane’s action will not change the fact that he’s dead”) is well placed. The Yakuza Boss will be dead because he did not notice the SecretWarrior — he saw only a girl.

 

As “One Girl Revolution” puts it:

 

“If all you see is how I look
You miss the superchick within
And I christen you Titanic
Underestimate and swim

 

 

The SecretWarrior will not care if the effects of 5GW activity are apparent if the effects leave her adversaries on the other side of the rubicon.

 

 

Anyone involved in SecretWars must remember that the SecretWarrior is human, and that she will care about her fate. She may desire worldly safety, heroic suicide-by-cop, or eternal bliss, but she is not a machine who cares only about the effects of her operations. The greatest strength, and greatest weakness, of any human organization are the humans it organizes.

 

 

This would be a case of “knowing too late,” in that the sudden revelation that a SecretWar had been underway in no way mitigates whatever position in which the target now finds itself:

 

 

Indeed. In the OGR example, the victim finds himself in the North Atlantic alone (“christen you Titanic”). At this point the enemy and anyone who would have been sympathetic to the enemy is unable to have revenge.

 

 

The target would have a new set of circumstances requiring immediate attention which could not be ignored, and from which the target is unlikely to emerge unscathed. A successful 5GW will leave the target on a downward spiral into insignificance. The target’s knowing it has been a victim won’t save the target from the spiral.

 

 

 

medium_titanic_md.jpg

 “a downward spiral into insignificance”

 

 

medium_titanickateandleo_cropped.jpg

“a new set of circumstances requiring immediate attention”

 

 

At the same time, some effects of 5GW pre-conclusion may be apparent to the target, thus influencing the target to cross the rubicon, although the target will not know that he’s about to cross such a rubicon. Motivating the target to move down to the river, and to cross it, would require observable effects, problems to solve, the solving of which can only be effected by going to and then across the river. If the target at any time senses it is being manipulated down a path, the target will resist and the SecretWarrior risks being discovered.

 

A defending 5GW society — whether it is an unbelieving family, a O-Ren Ishii’s yakuza gang, or the United States — must influence the SecretWarrior to against herself. In this struggle the Society has the advantage, because it is able to shape the battlespace much better than some small collection of individuals.

 

The SecretWarrior sees this weakness, and tries to guard against it

 

I can loose my hard earned freedom
If my fear defines my world

I declare my independence
from the critics and their stones”

 

Society can shape the battlespace by repeating the stories of those who were captured (whether Gitmo in a shooting war or “Jane Roe”‘s public misery in an ideological one), and by mocking those who attack it. Society is built on horizontal controls (which may or may not be the same thing as horizontal rule-sets — you’ll need to ask Mark about that 😉 ), and society can shape its horizontal controls to inflict pain on those who merely consider a SecretWar. This is what the business and technology worlds call “transparent adaptive mass customization” the marginal costs for potentially or actually rebelling are customized for the individual through his social network, while leaving those who don’t fight mentally unscathed.

 

This purposefully asymmetrical battle goes a fair bit to answer Jeremiah‘s question (which is deep enough that I have not yet answered it properly).

 

 

Phil at tdaxp has recently offered thumbnail character sketches of possible SecretWarriors:

 

 

In 4GW the enemy attempts to use the target country’s media as a vehicle to sap the people’s and political leaders’ will to fight. In 5GW the enemy actually becomes the media and the political leadership. In 4GW a terrorist organization might attack a school or a courthouse in order to show that the government can’t defend itself; in 5GW the enemy would become the teachers and judges. It doesn’t get much deeper than that.

 

 

Like the first commenter in that thread, I immediately questioned the sketch work. It has the Red Scare sound, brings to mind the House Un-American Activities Committee, and such a comparison would serve to distinguish 5GW warriors from what has gone before: even the smallest hint of variation in character, philosophy, or creed will out the SecretWarrior, or at least attract too much attention.

 

 

I read the bolded passage at least six times trying to see what felt wrong about it.

 

Then I put it together with a previous paragraph by Curtis

 

“On the other hand, the Plain Jane (were she even allowed into the party) most likely wouldn’t approach the yakuza boss directly, in a straight line aimed at him. Her movements would be random: she would take an offered drink, she would walk to the man who bought it for her to chat him up, she would dance to a song, she would go to the bathroom to powder her nose (heh, not Pulp Fiction, but Kill Bill vol. I), etc. A straight line to the yakuza boss would be an easily definable rhythm, one foot after the next on the path to her prey.”

 

And another fragments of another song by Superchick, Barlow Girls

 

 

But I know for sure it’s never popular to be pure
And while some guys might be passing them by
I think they’ve caught someone’s eye

 

 

You can get noticed with your body
Sexual hypnosis by being hottie

 

 

Barlow Girls describes the massaging of Observations. In the song two different physical aspects are described — “pure” and “hottie” — and in both cases the appearance invites types of notice. To put it in OODA decision cycle terms, the guard Observes a loosely dressed woman, orients this with knowledge of previously so-dressed women, acts by watching more, observes information in the context of believing he is watching a loose woman, etc. Thus the SecretWarrior gets inside the head of the Yakuza boss’s guards. The 5GWarrior rearranges the mind of her enemy, changing his fingertip-feelings into something better for her.

 

Just as the 5GWarrior must struggle with her physical appearance to be only a girl, the SecretWarrior must also struggle with her beliefs to appear to be only a girl.

 

Appearing to be without “the smallest hint of variation in character, philosophy, or creed” would make the assassin appear to be an airhead. A noticeable idiot. Someone to watch in case she does something stupid. The mental equivalent of walking without rhythm.

 

One might chart the best set of beliefs through quality Internets, or visualize the perfect waves to surf in a sea of friction, but those are posts for another time…

 

 

So Dan’s Plain Jane has this limit. In the yakuza boss’s world, plain would likely be only too obvious. A Plain Jane probably wouldn’t be allowed into the type of club the yakuza boss frequented; if she was, she’d likely stand out from the other women. The best person to assassinate the yakuza boss undetected would be an associate or someone with whom the yakuza boss is on very close terms. The assassin might even be a Brutus, the yakuza boss’s best friend.

 

 

Agreed that the best person to assassinate the yakuza boss would be a close associate, but this doesn’t mean that the best person to “turn” to kill the boss would be his close associate.

 

Economy of Force, the desire to …

 

Employ all combat power available in the most effective way possible; allocate minimum essential combat power to secondary efforts. Economy of force is the judicious employment and distribution of forces. No part of the force should ever be left without purpose. The allocation of available combat power to such tasks as limited attacks, defense, delays, deception, or even retrograde operations is measured in order to achieve mass elsewhere at the decisive point and time on the battlefield. …

 

… will be vital to SecretWarriors, whose network must be kept small to maintain secrecy on all levels. The energy spent turning a close associate of the boss may be better spent elsewhere, and if the boss’s associate comes to the SecretWarrior, this implies the SecretArmy isn’t secret at all!

 

A pre-existing wide-spectrum military force might use its resources to turn a close associate of the enemy, starting a new 5GW with the associate as the leader. But from a pure-SecretWar perspective this is identical to the associate starting the SecretWar on his own.

 

 

Dan’s consideration of rhythm and randomness is important in the way it brings “framing” into the discussion of 5GW. (See Anger Management’s recent considerations on “framing” here and here.) The radio station that randomly selects songs from different decades nonetheless selects songs within a certain framework — pop and rock, or country western, English language songs, etc. — and the randomness enjoyed by that station’s listener seems particularly “random” because so many other radio stations do not select their music the same way. The common thread running through those songs goes unquestioned because that thread already conforms to the listener’s most basic expectations (inner framework); whereas, the expectation of a limited selection (per other radio stations) is subverted in the selection of songs from many different decades (outer framework).

 

 

Another reference to Quality.

 

It relates to discussion of friction too…

 

 

In order to remain secret, the SecretWarrior would need to avoid drawing the attention of the targeted society, NGO, or nation. Anything, anything which might suggest an unusual motivation will draw attention. When considering Phil’s thumb sketches, I realized that a 5GW warrior-organization isn’t likely to be able to insert so many operatives into the schools, government agencies, churches, etc., because 1) the more people who are “in on the plan,” the more chances for leaks and switched loyalties, and 2) chances increase that the internal framing — opposition to the target — of those operatives will lead to external displays of that framing, and suspicion of the operatives will occur. A single 5GW intelligence — the mastermind — will not even consider planting so many operatives into a targeted society.

 

 

An apt description of “economy of force.”

 

 

One feature of HUAC was its targeting of media, particularly of Hollywood, in the search for Commie Sympathizers. In modern America, the media is consistently the target of speculation and paranoia, more so now perhaps than before. Any 5GW warrior who sought to use the media to influence or turn a society runs into the barrier of skepticism, particularly when whatever message is chosen is likely to have so many opponents within the society. The easiest use of media would be to inspire internal strife and conflict, especially given the tendency toward skepticism. Using the media to create unsuspecting pawns may actually be effective, and this may lead to terrorist activity or other covert activity against a target within its own society; but, again, many within the society will be suspicious of media’s role and at least somewhat aware that some members of its society have been so affected by the media: such opposition to the society is not 5GW activity, anyway, although it may serve to distract the target.

 

 

Skepticism of the media is an American strength. So the wise 5GWarrior, or any wise warrior for that matter, will not attack the strength. A wise warrior will use that strength.

 

How hard would it be for a well-placed conspiracy to do real harm by causing a phony news scandal? If the SecretArmy wanted to take-down enemy politicians who were close associates of what Americans would call a “pedophile” (say, pro-Iraq-War administration officials who strongly support a certain ayatollah, noted for his Koranic encouragement for men to marry a young girl), might the conspirators encourage attacks on the media for not properly covering sexual predators, which might spread to criticism for not exposing predators, or those that shield them…

 

 

I was very aware of Phil’s suggestion that our neighbors will be SecretWarriors, and this plays into what Dan suggested about the Plain Jane. It also plays into the consideration of one of the commenters at tdaxp, who suggested that jujitsu tactics will be used, or a target’s “weight” will be used against the target. The only type of SecretWarrior who will be able to move freely about without ever raising suspicions will be the one whose activity most matches the expectations of the targeted society, the internal and external framework most shared by the members of that society: most likely, that society itself.

 

 

Exactly!

 

And the important word is “society,” not “culture.” The SecretWarrior isn’t worried about full-spectrum engagement with an enemy’s culture. Only the society’s where he has to operate. In the same way, the assassin in the club doesn’t give a hoot about the mores of modern Japanese society. Only what the societies in that club — the bounces, the clubbers, the crazy-88s bodyguard, the employees, think and expect.

 

 

No society is 100% homogeneous, but the most influential members of the society (whether the society is a small group or a nation) are those who can promise the most benefit to the other members of society, whether the benefit is material in nature or psychological or social. To give an example: should a string of natural and not-so-natural disasters occur, those leaders, thinkers, and other members of a society who are able to mitigate or nullify the effects of those disasters are most likely to have the freest reins. They are certainly more likely to avoid suspicion — if, and only if, their efforts actually seem to lead, and ultimately do lead, to benefits.

 

A society that believes it’s moving toward a better future is a society less suspicious. The distrust of leaders (whether governmental or academic or social or business), combined with uncertain forecasts, elevates suspicion, doubt, and resistance; but a society in which vast numbers of its members believe they are co-authors of the success, co-conspirators in progress, will happily walk to the river and the Promised Land on the other side of that river.

 

 

It’s often said that commanders plan for the last war. The French and Polish Armies of World War II could have easily trounced the Kaiser’s Men. For that matter, the very modern French Army and the very rugged Polish cavalry would have defeated the Germans if all sides were using the same tactics. But they weren’t. The Germans jumped a generation and won.

 

In the same way, as the American military and bureaucracy super-empowers individuals, transforming soldiers into strategic corporals and bureaucrats into sheiks, it weakens itself against conspirator enemies. To a certain extent, arming for NetWar means disarming for SecretWar. The reason Max Weber gave for bureaucracy in the first place — that it disempowers individuals and increases resistance to arbitrary whim — is exactly why it is a good defense of SecretWar.

 

Or perhaps not.

 

Gotta love brainstorming.

 

 

In order for a target of 5GW to never have a suspicion that a war had ever occurred, that target would need to be left with the impression that it had succeeded in its endeavors. So while a successful 5GW might leave a target in a hopeless downward spiral — all too obvious to the helpless victim — it might also leave the victim with the feeling of success, albeit a success much smaller than would have been achieved if 5GW had not occurred.

 

 

This is the ultimate form of jujitsu, and shows how in SecretWar one can subdue (take-down) the enemy through subverting (taking-over) him.

 

In his original post on 5GW, Mark Safranski feared a “a total war on a society or subsection of a society” and “campaigns that would be indiscriminate, democidally-oriented death squad campaigns that shred 4GW networks.”

 

How might one use this jujitsu to conspiratorally subvert a society so that it destroys itself totally, and the society feels good about it afterwards?

 

The conspiracy’s goal could be to engineer the rise of a disasterously misguided leader, who would kill millions (including possibly loved ones of the SecretWarriors, destroy the country’s infrastructure, etc), all to permanently weaken that state and engineer the rise of another…

 

I wonder how many anti-Semites believe this has already happened?

5th Generation Thumbnail Sketches

Every 5th Generation War will be different, perhaps so different that they don’t seem to even belong in the same category. But if we accept some general features then we can explore some of the possibilities that follow from them. In an earlier post, Dan offers some significant thoughts:
If traditional war centered on an enemy’s physical strength, and 4GW on his moral strength, the 5th Generation of War would focus on his intellectual strength. A 5th Generation War might be fought with one side not knowing who it is fighting. Or even, a brilliantly executed 5GW might involve one side being completely ignorant that there ever was a war. It’s like the old question of what was the perfect robbery: we will never know, because in a perfect robbery the bank would not know that it was robbed.
 
 
The two elements that Dan highlights above are very important. 5GW isn’t just about using ideas to undermine the will of a people or government to fight, but about undermining a country’s ability to defend itself intellectually, one could say that it is an existential campaign that calls into question the very legitimacy of that country’s existence. A campaign that a country may not even be conscious of. So how would this be accomplished?
 
Mark at Zenpundit points out:
 
A strong possibility exists that given successive generations of warfare tend to drive “deeper” into enemy territory, that 5GW will mean systemic liquidation of enemy networks and their sympathizers, essentially a total war on a society or subsection of a society. There is no where ” deeper” for 5GW to go but here.
 
 
How deep is deep?  In 5GW the enemy might be a state or a foreign non-state actor or something homegrown. Whatever its source it would require that there be citizens willing to intentionally seek the defeat of their own country, or citizens who could be persuaded to adopt behaviors and ideas that would lead to defeat whether it was intentional or not. But the enemy in this case would realize that they can’t win a conventional war or even a 4th Generation War, so they devise deeper tactics. In 4GW the enemy attempts to use the target country’s media as a vehicle to sap the people’s and political leaders’ will to fight. In 5GW the enemy actually becomes the media and the political leadership. In 4GW a terrorist organization might attack a school or a courthouse in order to show that the government can’t defend itself; in 5GW the enemy would become the teachers and judges. It doesn’t get much deeper than that. And so a country might never know as Dan states above, that it is even at war or who the enemy is, or that they have lost the war.
 
So is there a role for the military, intelligence and law enforcement agencies? The 5GW operatives in democratic societies will remain “invisible” to the state unless they are inciting violence, plotting or engaging in illegal activity. And things become much more complicated if  they actually become the judges, intelligence officers, diplomats, policy makers etc. I don’t really think there is a major  role for the state in this kind of intellectual war, but rather think that ideas have to be fought with ideas, and that the people who want to defend their country from this kind of attack need to develop their own 5th generation tactics independent of the state.
 
Now, we are just brainstorming here, trying to sketch out some of the details of a potential 5th Generation of War. Thinking about this is like trying to see something at night. You catch a glimpse of something in your peripheral vision, then look directly at it and it disappears. Then you look away and can again see it in your peripheral vision. This can make you wonder whether there is really something there to see.
 
 A lot of questions still need answers. Does a 5th generation campaign need to be violent in order to be war? If war is politics by other means, then is 5GW war by other means? How do we distinguish, in a free society, between the legitimate promotion of ideas and policies and a 5th Generation War on our “intellectual strength”?
 
 
Posted by Phil